European Union member states on Tuesday, approved the world’s first complete set of laws to regulate crypto assets.
An EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels endorsed guidelines hammered out with the European Parliament, which approved them in April.
According to Reuters, the guidelines are slated to go into effect in 2024. Following the bankruptcy of crypto exchange FTX, officials have prioritised crypto regulation.
“Recent events have confirmed the urgent need for imposing rules that will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets, as well as prevent the misuse of the crypto industry for the purposes of money laundering and financing of terrorism,” Elisabeth Svantesson, finance minister for Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, said
The rules compel enterprises in the 27-country bloc to seek a licence in order to issue, trade, and safeguard crypto assets, tokenized assets, and stablecoins.
By making transactions easier to trace, ministers made steps to prevent tax evasion and the exploitation of crypto asset transfers for money laundering.
They agreed on a requirement that service providers get the names of senders and beneficiaries of crypto assets beginning in January 2026, regardless of the amount being moved.
There was also agreement on revising rules on how member countries collaborate in taxation to cover crypto-asset transactions, as well as exchanging information on advance tax judgments for the wealthiest persons.
Crypto firms say they seek regulatory stability, increasing pressure on countries to adopt EU laws and regulators to develop global norms for cross-border activities.